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Patrick Henry`s “Liberty or Death” Speech

Patrick Henry`s “Liberty or Death” Speech


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Much had changed in the nearly nine years since Patrick Henry had delivered his widely noted “Treason” speech in May 1765 as a protest against the Stamp Act.The Boston Tea Party in December 1773 had prompted a crackdown by British authorities, who singled out Massachusetts for especially tight royal supervision. As a reaction to these events, the First Continental Congress convened in September 1774, giving expression to the belief that violation of rights in Massachusetts threatened liberties throughout the colonies. Congress urged resistance to the Coercive Acts, the formation of militias and the establishment of a boycott of British goods. Parliament reacted in February 1775 by declaring the American colonies to be in a state of rebellion.Following this torrent of events, a second session of the Virginia Convention opened in March 1775 at St. John’s Church in Richmond. Henry spoke in support of his proposals and argued that a war had already begun, saying in part:

Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace; but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?Forbid it, Almighty God — I know not what course others may take; but as for me — give me liberty or give me death!

These dramatic words were received in initial silence, but shouts of support soon rang out. By a narrow margin, the delegates voted to begin military preparations, joining Massachusetts, which had taken similar action earlier, in the forefront of Revolutionary activity.These, at least, were the words as best recollected after the fact, since the speech was not written in advance and not taken down as delivered. The most popular version (cited above) was published in 1817 by William Wirt, Patrick Henry's biographer.Less than a month later, fighting would break out at Lexington and Concord.


See timeline of the American Revolution.


Patrick Henry`s “Liberty or Death” Speech - History


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It follows the full text transcript of Patrick Henry's Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death speech, delivered at Richmond, Virginia - March 23, 1775.


No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House.

But different men often see the same subject in different lights and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received?

Trust it not, sir it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?

Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned we have remonstrated we have supplicated we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult our supplications have been disregarded and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free-- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!

I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!


What Is the Purpose of Patrick Henry's Speech?

Patrick Henry delivered his "Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death" speech with the purpose of freeing Virginia from British colonial rule. Delivered in 1775, Patrick Henry's speech has since been recognized as one of the most pivotal speeches in world history.

The speech took place at a church in Virginia on March 23, 1775, according to both Totally History and Yale Law School. It served as a response to Britain's actions toward colonies in the American isles. Patrick Henry viewed the influence of the British as a threat to the freedom of the American people and rejected all the claims the British made to justify their reasons for colonizing the Americas. As a patriot, Patrick Henry believed that the British empire was leeching from his country and that American citizens were given no choice but to accept their role as being subordinate to the domineering British colonial rule.

The purpose of the speech was to mobilize the residents of Virginia into taking action against the British rule and to convince the state of Virginia that they could never achieve peace in any circumstances. The speech inspired many people to take sides with Patrick Henry's political ideologies and ushered in a wave of patriotism that influenced the course of American history.


The Speech

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth to know the worst, and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned we have remonstrated we have supplicated we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult our supplications have been disregarded and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

* William Wirt (1772-1834) reconstructed this accepted text of Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech for his biography of Patrick Henry. Wirt’s Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry was published in 1817 and reprinted about two dozen times in the nineteenth-century. Historians and biographers have often debated the merits and limits of William Wirt’s reconstruction of the text.


This week in history: Patrick Henry calls for liberty or death

Historical interpreter, Michael Wells, right, delivers the famous line of "give me liberty or give me death" as he re-enacts the speech of Patrick Henry in St. John's church on church Hill in Richmond, Va., Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. Steve Helber, Associated Press

On March 23, 1775, Virginia lawyer and politician Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech at St. John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. The speech dramatized the depth of feeling that patriots held at the time, and helped to persuade the Virginia House of Burgesses to prepare for war with Britain.

By the mid-1770s, Great Britain and its American colonies were on a collision course. With the conclusion of the French and Indian War a decade earlier, Britain was left with crippling debt and had turned to new forms of taxation to stabilize its economy. In 1765, the colonies were hit with the Stamp Act, which taxed legal licenses and grants, pamphlets, newspapers, playing cards, dice and more. Opposition to the tax in the colonies was furious, and one of the leading voices calling for repeal belonged to Patrick Henry.

Henry had been born in 1736 in Virginia's Hanover County. A land and slave owner, Henry began his career as a gentleman farmer. He then became a successful lawyer before being elected to Virginia's House of Burgesses in 1765, just as the Stamp Act had been enacted.

In the book “The American Revolution,” historian Bruce Lancaster remarked on a session of the House of Burgesses a few days after Henry addressed the body: “The members were probably discussing the speech that Patrick Henry of Hanover County had made, a speech that shook the slender spire of the capitol. Cautious men muttered that Henry had come close to treason in his defiant speech against the new act but all agreed that there had been a good deal in Henry's words.”

Because of Henry and others throughout the colonies, mobs formed that made certain the new taxes weren't collected, and with British merchants hit hard due to American boycotts, the British parliament backed down. It did, however, issue the Declaratory Act at the same time, which stated bluntly that it had the power and authority to issue any taxes or take any action it deemed appropriate at any time.

This led to more taxes and even the stationing of vast numbers of troops in Boston — a hotbed of anti-British sentiment. In 1770 several Bostonians were shot by British Redcoats in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre, heightening tensions between the colonies and Britain even further. In December 1773, Bostonians who resisted the new taxes on tea boarded three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped their cargo of tea into the bay which led to severe restrictions from Britain in the form of the Intolerable Acts.

Events in Boston reverberated throughout the colonies, however, and most colonial leaders knew that such British heavy-handedness could easily be turned against their locality as well. Throughout this period, Henry worked with Thomas Jefferson and other prominent Virginians to maintain communication between the colonies.

In early 1774, after Britain had called for the closing of the port of Boston in response to the Boston Tea Party, the Virginia House of Burgesses called for solidarity with Boston's residents and a day of prayer to beseech God to help their fellow colonials. Virginia's royal governor, Lord Dunmore, believed the House was acting disloyally to the king and officially dissolved the body. It soon reconstituted in a tavern as a convention, however, and agreed to send delegates to the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia in September 1774.

By early 1775, Britain appeared to be completely willing to use military force to crush any opposition to its authority in Massachusetts, and leaders throughout each of the colonies began to debate how to create their own military counter-force. Patrick Henry stood at the forefront of the debate in Virginia. The second convention was constituted on March 20, 1775, at St. John's Episcopal Church in Richmond. As the body debated whether or not to arm its militia, Patrick Henry stood up on March 23 to delivered the speech for which he ultimately became best known.

Henry began his remarks with deference to those who opposed his position: “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.”

After impressing upon his colleagues the urgency of action, and his belief that the subject dealt with nothing less than the freedom or slavery of the colonists, Henry then called for members of the House to awaken to the reality of what was happening: “Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

Henry went on to detail Britain's offenses against the colonies and noted that its military buildup “in this quarter of the world” was intended for no enemy, but rather for use against the colonists. “And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last 10 years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing.”

Since there was no military to oppose the British, Henry stated, then “humble submission” was the only option left, and what terms, Henry asked, would they find?

“There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending. we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!”

He noted that the opposition to preparing a defense cited that fact that the colonies were weak. But when, Henry asked, would be the right time? If the colonies waited only until they were strong enough to take on Britain, the day would never come, for Britain would forcibly disarm all of the colonists long before they could build up their strength. Further, he noted that any conflict would not be won by force of arms alone, but also by relying on God, who surely supported their cause.

“The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun!”

Finally, Henry closed his speech with words that stirred the body to action and continue to stir men's souls to this day: “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

This, however, may not be the exact text of the speech. The text was not recorded until a few decades later by William Wirt, (himself an attorney general). There is some debate about exactly how much of the text of the speech came from Henry and how much was actually reconstructed by Wirt from second-hand sources. One thing is almost certain, however — the phrase "liberty or death," or at least that theme, was part of the speech. (The version quoted here is through Yale's Avalon project and online at avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/patrick.asp.)

Virginia residents ultimately decided to arm themselves and prepare for war in the aftermath of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts the following month. In June, the Second Continental Congress appointed George Washington, a Virginian, to command the newly created Continental Army.

Henry went on to become the governor of Virginia, and opposed the Constitutional Convention of 1787, believing that it would lead to an American monarchy. He famously said of the convention, “I smell a rat!” He then opposed Virginia's ratification of the Constitution, fearing that it centralized too much power in the new federal government. In 1799, he ran as a Federalist for a seat in Virginia legislature and won, though he died shortly before taking office.


Lit 2 Go

Henry, P. (1817). Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, Richmond, Virginia March 23, 1775. Historic American Documents (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved June 28, 2021, from https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/133/historic-american-documents/4956/patrick-henrys-speech-to-the-virginia-house-of-burgesses-richmond-virginia-march-23-1775/

Henry, Patrick. "Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, Richmond, Virginia March 23, 1775." Historic American Documents. Lit2Go Edition. 1817. Web. https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/133/historic-american-documents/4956/patrick-henrys-speech-to-the-virginia-house-of-burgesses-richmond-virginia-march-23-1775/ >. June 28, 2021.

Patrick Henry, "Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, Richmond, Virginia March 23, 1775," Historic American Documents, Lit2Go Edition, (1817), accessed June 28, 2021, https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/133/historic-american-documents/4956/patrick-henrys-speech-to-the-virginia-house-of-burgesses-richmond-virginia-march-23-1775/ .

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.

This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth&mdashto know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?

Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation&mdashthe last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?

No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.

We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned we have remonstrated we have supplicated we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.

Our petitions have been slighted our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult our supplications have been disregarded and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

If we wish to be free&mdashif we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending&mdashif we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak&mdashunable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable&mdashand let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, &ldquoPeace! Peace!&rdquo&mdashbut there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Patrick Henry &ndash March 23, 1775

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Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses, Richmond, Virginia March 23, 1775


Comments

“Will we ever tell the truth to our children and most of the rest of our society about our slaveholding founders?”

We do. They owned slaves. Most people are aware of that, public schools as a matter of routine make mention of it, and it doesn’t effect most Americans’ opinion one way or the other, which is appropriate. The real question is this: when will you “anti-racism” types ever be truthful about your motives? You consider the founders of my country villains, and the people of my country (Americans) enemies. You wish to strip us of our history and our connections to our ancestry, you wish to eradicate our culture heroes and our ethnic identity. Lastly, you wish to displace us in our country and dispossess us *of* our country.

Who is being dishonest here?

I wish people wouldn’t hide-rate this poster into oblivion because the sentiments expressed are complimentary to this article.

Many if not most whites see themselves as perpetual victims. Regardless of how much suffering the white race has been documented as causing others, still they are victims.

So, S.L. Toddard, while you know some of the history of the white race, clearly you don’t understand it. Thus it needs to be repeated and contextualized. Not until you and others are tired of hearing it but perhaps until you finally understand it.

“You wish to strip us of our history and our connections to our ancestry, you wish to eradicate our culture heroes and our ethnic identity.”

S.L.– you can’t see the irony in this statement. Really? Yikes. And I don’t know exactly what you’re calling “our ethnic identity” or who you consider “our culture heroes” but…
…it’s ridiculous and appalling for any one individual to claim ownership or possession of an entire country–ie the territorial, us-vs-them, ours-vs-theirs mentality.

“You wish to strip us of our history and our connections to our ancestry, you wish to eradicate our culture heroes and our ethnic identity.”

““You wish to strip us of our history and our connections to our ancestry, you wish to eradicate our culture heroes and our ethnic identity.”

S.L.– you can’t see the irony in this statement. ”

I think you misunderstand the word “irony”, as do so many people. What is relevant is that it is true. I am quite aware of the horrors of the middle passage, the lynchings, etc etc. Slavery was indeed a tragic footnote to American history. As far as I’m concerned it does not – and should not – alter the standing of the Founders in the eyes of most Americans – and certainly does not in mine. They were men of their time, and were not flawless. I do not see “whites” as “perpetual victims”. It has only been recently that Americans have been taught to hate themselves and their history, and it has only been over the last half century that we have allowed ourselves to be dispossessed and displaced. I understand it would not be politic to be honest about it (and that’s why you aren’t), but the fact is that “anti-racist” simply means “anti-American”. You people wish to displace and dispossess Americans, and replace us with non-Westerners. It is ethnic cleansing by definition. We Americans – unhyphenated and unconditional – are your enemies. Or, at least those of us who have not succumbed to the corporate brainwashing vis a vis television, and learned to loathe ourselves and our ancestors. Those poor Americans who have I pity more than anyone.

“Will we ever tell the truth to our children and most of the rest of our society about our slaveholding founders?”

We do. They owned slaves. Most people are aware of that, public schools as a matter of routine make mention of it, and it doesn’t effect most Americans’ opinion one way or the other, which is appropriate. The real question is this: when will you “anti-racism” types ever be truthful about your motives? You consider the founders of my country villains, and the people of my country (Americans) enemies. You wish to strip us of our history and our connections to our ancestry, you wish to eradicate our culture heroes and our ethnic identity. Lastly, you wish to displace us in our country and dispossess us *of* our country.

Who is being dishonest here?

Mr. Toddard, we ARE being honest. That’s why this blog was formed, to point out and acknowledge the continuing curse of racism and the denial that perceives it. If we continue to turn our eyes away from the issues discussed in this blog, it will NOT make racism go away as some people think.

I doubt that a lot of people knew that celebrated historical figures like Patrick actually owned slaves. Some people don’t know that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Yet, in this country we celebrate those figures based on myths, positive images created to block out the harsh truths about history. It’s been done over and over to the point where people cringe at the thought of a legacy of hatred and destruction. This is why many whites do not like to talk about slavery, or think that it was not as big a deal as blacks are making it to be.

The idea is to not strip “you” of your history, but the idea is to TEACH YOU THE TRUTHS HIDDEN WITHIN THE MYTHS WHICH IS THEN CONVERTED INTO HISTORY. I can already tell that you don’t like to talk about racism especially in the context of American history.

Also, there is no where in this post that called the founders villians. The founders were far from saints. They are only “great” in the minds and hearts of the historians who recorded them as great men who built this country. Yet, truths say otherwise. Nevertheless, kids in schools all over the country are taught the sugary-sweet, myth-induced American history that shows successes at the hands of whites as well as provide a sense of white superiority.

Here is the inconvenient truth, Mr. Toddard:

In the last few sentences in your response you are showing the same kind of fears the people at these tea party rallies are showing. You’re afraid of having your so-called heroes exposed. You’re afraid of being “dispossessed” (whatever that means). In other words I think you’re afraid of LOSING YOUR PRIVILEGES! You’re afraid to awaken to the truth behind how you got your privileges. You’re afraid of losing your comfort zone, and you’re afraid of waking up from the so-called American dream.

“In the last few sentences in your response you are showing the same kind of fears the people at these tea party rallies are showing. You’re afraid of having your so-called heroes exposed. You’re afraid of being “dispossessed” (whatever that means).”

We are not afraid of having the Founders of our country “exposed”. Expose away. What we object to, however, is the insistence on obsessing unduly on the negative. We object to that for the most obvious and rational reason there is: our enemies wish to focus on the negative so as to de-legitimize the Founders (and our heroes in general) in our own eyes, the purpose being to crush any sense of pride we Americans may feel, to sever us from our history and from each other in order to render us docile and servile, the more easily to rob us of our patrimony – America. Obviously only a sick, suicidal people would allow such a thing. And you see these sick, docile souls here aiding and abetting you in your war against their people and history. To these self-loathing and servile Americans I say this: Our cultural ancestors sailed across horizons, conquered and tamed a continent, flew the first trans-Atlantic flight, established a Republic, sailed clipper ships to China, built towering cities whose spires pierce the clouds, flew through space and stood upon the face of the moon.

What have those who seek to replace us done to compare?

Thanks for reminding me that you can’t reason with the irrational–your argument is based entirely on unsubstantiated allegations, faulty dilemmas, and I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I infantile bullshit.

I got news for you buddy, I’m as born-and-bred American as you are. Sweet dreams.

I have not seen evidence that you can reason at all. I am not sure which “allegations” you are alleging are “unsubstantiated” – what I am sure of, though, is that you have failed to demonstrate that any are. You have also failed to demonstrate any “dilemmas” that are “faulty”. As for “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I infantile bullshit” I haven’t the foggiest idea to what you are referring.

Thanks for the replies to the rather illiterate and uniformed Toddard comments. A key question still remains too. Do any students in US read Patrick Henry’s famous speech and analyze its racist ironies? Free me from chains and Give ME liberty or death, not those whom I have in chains…..
I doubt if more than 5 or so out of millions, and clearly the 5 not including Toddard…..

I doubt that more than five have too, Joe. Speaking from experience, growing up in school, we were given a brief history of Patrick Henry and a snippet of his infamous speech. We were never asked about how his speech was ironic. Come to think of it, we were not really taught much about slavery other than the dates, places, and people in politics at the time.

I think it shows that Americans, not all but enough to make the point, will hold on faster to the half-truths and myths behind their history, than to the cold truths hidden from the people for so long. I also think if one did reveal the facts about Patrick Henry owning slaves, most whites won’t think much about it. They may consider that to be nothing to be concerned about, and will still consider him an “American hero.”

I just realized there’s a school near my hometown called Patrick Henry Academy, and most, if not all, of the students are white.

I asked Toddard who he considers ‘a true American’. I would like a response to this please. What is the definition of real Americans?

There is no “definition”, really. An American is an American, much like a Frenchman is a Frenchman.

Or, rather, an “American” is someone whose ethnicity is “American”. I’m sorry if that’s not helpful, but I don’t know how else to define an American.

In other words you don’t know what an American is, but yet, you are considering yourself to be one and a proud one at that?

“We are not afraid of having the Founders of our country “exposed”. Expose away. What we object to, however, is the insistence on obsessing unduly on the negative. We object to that for the most obvious and rational reason there is: our enemies wish to focus on the negative so as to de-legitimize the Founders (and our heroes in general) in our own eyes, the purpose being to crush any sense of pride we Americans may feel, to sever us from our history and from each other in order to render us docile and servile, the more easily to rob us of our patrimony – America. Obviously only a sick, suicidal people would allow such a thing. And you see these sick, docile souls here aiding and abetting you in your war against their people and history. To these self-loathing and servile Americans I say this: Our cultural ancestors sailed across horizons, conquered and tamed a continent, flew the first trans-Atlantic flight, established a Republic, sailed clipper ships to China, built towering cities whose spires pierce the clouds, flew through space and stood upon the face of the moon.

What have those who seek to replace us done to compare?

So, in other words we should live in the glorious, half-baked, myth induced, so-called history instead of facing the unpleasant, flat-out truths that are ommitted from the mainstream? We should live as if the past has in no way effected the present?

How on earth will focusing on the negatives, which I assume you mean the unpleasant truths, de-legitmize the founders and heroes? For what matter, who are YOUR American heroes and why should anyone worship them? What is the sense of pride you speak of? How is talking about the history severing history, and how will exposing the history we SHOULD know render us docile and servile? If anything, historical truths should awaken those still asleep. However, there are those like you that choose to remain asleep.

Mr. Toddard, you obviously are filled of so-called American pride, and from the last part of your response, a lot of white pride and something else. You want to continue to live in your own pleasant matrix where America is the greatest country in the world, and those who question America are out to destroy your own personal utopia of White American “greatness”.

At the same time like Distance said you want to potray yourself as a victim. In this statement that YOU made, you said:

“You wish to strip us of our history and our connections to our ancestry, you wish to eradicate our culture heroes and our ethnic identity.”

THIS IS WHAT YOUR PEOPLE HAVE DONE TO MY PEOPLE!!

Yet, you can’t understand why some of my people are angry. In fact you can’t even accept the same comment if a black man said it. No, you would call it making excuses, and tell us to pull up out bootstraps, work harder, and blah, blah, blah.

You know what? You can respond however you want. There’s no point talking to someone who wants to remain asleep. I’m sure I will encounter more people who think like you. While I’ll constantly try to rid mself of the program your people have installed into my people for hundreds of years, I will always be in pain. Yet, I will wish you well.

I don’t care about what a Frenchman is, Mr. Toddard. I asked you what an American is. Stop derailing the issue.


Patrick Henry Makes "Liberty or Death" Speech

The American colonies were in an uproar in the spring of 1775. The British crown seemed to be depriving the colonists of their English rights the governor of the Virginia colony had even dissolved the legislature because of its constant discussions about the King's actions against them. The assembly met anyway -- in St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia.

During the debates, Patrick Henry delivered a speech on this day March 23, 1775 that electrified the assembly. Saying that if he kept back his opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, he would consider himself guilty of treason to his country and "disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings." Then, like the prophet Isaiah centuries before, Patrick warned of those who cried, "Peace, peace" when there was no peace. Insisting that war with Britain was inevitable, he called on Virginia to arm its militia. He rallied his countrymen to trust the God of Hosts and use all the means that the God of nature had placed in their power:

"Three million of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send us. Besides. we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us."

Patrick concluded his argument with a passionate cry, "I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" A man listening at the window was so moved by the words, that he asked to be buried on that spot when he died--a wish that was granted.

Patrick had given significant speeches before. Thomas Jefferson said about one, "He appeared to me to speak as Homer wrote." Where had Patrick Henry learned such eloquence? Many speculate it was from Samuel Davies, Presbyterian minister in Virginia. Though Henry was reared an Anglican, his mother embraced Presbyterianism during the Great Awakening. As a teenager Henry often accompanied her to the meeting house in Hanover County where Samuel Davies was a pastor. Davies was an eloquent, powerful speaker as well as a strong advocate of religious liberty. No doubt Christian influences such as Davies helped shape the thoughts and oratorical skills of Patrick Henry.

Patrick Henry served several times as governor of Virginia. Sometimes he was hopelessly out of touch with the times. For instance, he tried to keep the Church of England as the established church of Virginia. Again, although he sought liberty for himself, he was content to leave blacks in slavery.

Nonetheless, he was a committed Christian throughout his life. His will concluded with these words: "This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed."


Patrick Henry Gives his ‘Give me Liberty, or Give me Death’ Speech

On March 23, 1775, less than a month before the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry addressed the House of Burgesses in Richmond, Virginia. He gave a speech that has been remembered popularly as the &ldquoGive Me Liberty or Give Me Death&rdquo speech. Although Henry&rsquos discourse was not recorded at the time (partially because Henry delivered it extemporaneously), Henry&rsquos biographer, William Wirt, later gathered testimony from people who had heard him speak. Through their accounts, Wirt reconstructed what Henry spoke that day. The motivation behind the speech was to incite the determination of the Virginia House members to raise a militia, or voluntary army, that would fight against the British army. It should be noted that more modern historians have challenged the authenticity of Wirt&rsquos account of Henry&rsquos speech. However, Henry&rsquos rhetoric was very effective, and his speech has become one of the more famous in American history.

Henry begins by addressing the men who spoke before him that day in the House. These men had argued against staging a war against Britain they are against the proposal Henry was about to make for the colony of Virginia to form a militia, as many of the northern colonies had already done. Henry compliments those who had spoken against the plan by calling them patriots, but he presents the idea that it is possible that different people could see the same subject in different ways. Henry then apologizes for speaking against these men&rsquos ideas. He feels compelled to do so, he tells them, for he considers the subject a matter of choice between living in freedom or suffering as slaves. If he did not speak out on this topic, he says, he would consider himself guilty of treason.

Henry then warns the assembly against closing their eyes to the truth. Although it might be painful, he says, it is the duty of wise men to look unblinking at what is happening around them in their struggle for liberty. His full speech is below&hellip

St. John&rsquos Church, Richmond, Virginia

PRESIDENT: No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth to know the worst, and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves, and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these war-like preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled, that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted?

Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned we have remonstrated we have supplicated we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult our supplications have been disregarded and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

If we wish to be free² if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending²if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.

Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable²and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry is credited with having swung the balance in convincing the convention to pass a resolution delivering Virginian troops for the Revolutionary War. Among the delegates to the convention were future U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Following the convention of the Virginia legislature, a committee was assembled which included Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. The purpose of this committee was &ldquoto prepare a plan for the embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may be sufficient&rdquo to defend their commonwealth. This convention then urged &ldquothat every Man be provided with a good Rifle&rdquo and &ldquothat every Horseman be provided . . . with Pistols and Holsters, a Carbine, or other Firelock.&rdquo

Recommended Books:

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When nationally syndicated radio host Mark R. Levin&rsquos Liberty and Tyranny appeared in the early months of the Obama presidency, Americans responded by making his clarion call for a new era in conservatism a #1 New York Times bestseller for an astounding twelve weeks. As provocative, well-reasoned, robust, and informed as his on-air commentary, with his love of our country and the legacy of our Founding Fathers reflected on every page, Levin&rsquos galvanizing narrative provides a philosophical, historical, and practical framework for revitalizing the conservative vision and ensuring the preservation of American society.

In the face of the modern liberal assault on Constitution-based values, an attack that has resulted in a federal government that is a massive, unaccountable conglomerate, the time for reinforcing the intellectual and practical case for conservatism is now. In a series of powerful essays, Levin lays out how conservatives can counter the tyrannical liberal corrosion that has filtered into every timely issue affecting our daily lives, from the economy to health care, global warming to immigration, and more.

Most Americans know Patrick Henry as a fiery speaker whose pronouncement &ldquoGive me liberty or give me death!&rdquo rallied American defiance to the British Crown. But Henry&rsquos skills as an orator&mdashsharpened in the small towns and courtrooms of colonial Virginia&mdashare only one part of his vast, but largely forgotten, legacy. As historian Thomas S. Kidd shows, Henry cherished a vision of America as a virtuous republic with a clearly circumscribed central government. These ideals brought him into bitter conflict with other Founders and were crystallized in his vociferous opposition to the U.S. Constitution.

In Patrick Henry, Kidd pulls back the curtain on one of our most radical, passionate Founders, showing that until we understand Henry himself, we will neglect many of the Revolution&rsquos animating values.

In this action-packed history, award-winning author Harlow Giles Unger unfolds the epic story of Patrick Henry, who roused Americans to fight government tyranny&mdashboth British and American. Remembered largely for his cry for &ldquoliberty or death,&rdquo Henry was actually the first (and most colorful) of America&rsquos Founding Fathers&mdashfirst to call Americans to arms against Britain, first to demand a bill of rights, and first to fight the growth of big government after the Revolution.

As quick with a rifle as he was with his tongue, Henry was America&rsquos greatest orator and courtroom lawyer, who mixed histrionics and hilarity to provoke tears or laughter from judges and jurors alike. Henry&rsquos passion for liberty (as well as his very large family), suggested to many Americans that he, not Washington, was the real father of his country.

This biography is history at its best, telling a story both human and philosophical. As Unger points out, Henry&rsquos words continue to echo across America and inspire millions to fight government intrusion in their daily lives.


Patrick Henry Orator Of Liberty Rhetorical Analysis

Henrys Inspiring Speech
Virginia convention 1775. Patrick Henry a very inspirational man who was tired of sitting back and waiting on something to happen. He was ready to fight for what was his and his freedom he was also known as "The Orator of Liberty". Patrick Henry was famous for giving speeches supporting American Democracy. Henry was also a very big patriot who loved his country and the people in it. Today I will be explaining why and how he uses such rhetorical devices as ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos appeals to the audiences trust as being a credible speaker. Pathos is the audiences emotions. logos is logic, thinking.
Ethos makes you think alot about a dcision or a question that has been asked or said. On page 89 line 17 "majesty of heaven which i revere above all earthly kings." I think that he means that he is a credible speaker and that he is one of a kind because he is one of the onl men who will stand up and fight for what is his. when he says that it makes you think that he is higher and credible to be giving such a speech. I think of Mr. Henry as a very persuasive and influental speaker because of the way he uses his words and can persuade an audience so easily with just a couple words.

page 89 line 18-19 he says "It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope." Mr. Henry is saying that men are easy to just jump right into things and not worry or think about the consequences. Page 88 line 9-10 "For my own part i consider as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery. what he is saying is that if we fight at least we didnt just lay down and watch them bound us with chains and take our freedom, we need to take action and fight for what is ours. We dont want to be slaves for the rest of our lives and our grandchilden so lets fight for a future of.


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